19. Missing her
Once again, Aleida is gone, and I don’t know how she’ll get out of the situation this time. She’s lost herself in her feral hybrid and can’t control it anymore. I watch her running away through the woods after getting out of the cage they transported her in. Oh, honey, why is nothing ever easy for you? We return to our respective territories and try to process what’s going on. None of us can understand why the witch is doing this; what does she get out of by creating chaos wherever she goes? We walk up to our floor and put the children in their beds. My precious son, Alexander, whimpers after his mother, and I understand exactly how he feels. I gently caress his forehead with my thumb, and he looks up at me with his big eyes slowly filling with tears.
“I miss her too, little man,” I tell him, sighing soundly.
I look at our triplets sleeping deep. Thank you, goddess, that at least someone’s unaware of the situation that continues to escalate around us! Miliano tries to calm Elias, who screams and trash in his arms; he’s hysterical. Aleida’s grandmother comes into the nursery and smiles sadly at Miliano before stretching out her hands to take Elias from his father’s arms. Miliano sighs and gently gives her Elias. He continues to scream but quickly calms down as she sings in Spanish to him. We leave the room and walk into my office. I take out two glasses full of whiskey and give my brother one drink before sitting down. We don’t talk because there’s no reason. No one knows what should be said or what we can do to help. What’s left is an endless void, not only in our hearts but also in the lives of every werewolf. We need our queen, and I honestly believe that it’s not until now that I realize how much is affected by Aleida. It makes me start thinking about all the times my mate tried to talk to me and explain why she has to protect us. Like that time, we brushed off her claims of an unexpected war before the boys were born. If we had listened to her then, would we’ve been sitting here alone today? Or if we had wiped out Jonathan many years ago, would Aleida already sit at the throne today, more vital than ever? Many questions, but very few answers. The only one who can answer that is our goddess, and at the moment, it feels like she, too, has abandoned us.
“I miss her,” Miliano says quietly, spinning the golden brown liquid in his glass.
I look at my little brother and feel sympathy for him for the first time. Even though we have a better relationship today than we had before, we’re far from fraternal with each other. Before, I haven’t been able to feel sympathy or anything beyond anger towards my brother. But now it feels different. Perhaps it’s first now that I begin to mature and develop in the way I should’ve done several years ago. I watch my brother, who’s always showing a powerful aura, break down bit by bit, and there’s nothing I can do about it more than share his pain.
“Me, too,” I answer silently, sighing.
“What are we going to do?” he asks.
“I don’t know, Milo, I don’t know,” I respond, feeling the well-known frustration creep in me. “We don’t know what we’re facing and how anything works. The first step should be to create alliances, even if they may be temporary.”
Miliano slowly nods and scratches his chin while looking out the window. His eyebrow furrows, and I can practically see how the gears work in there. Something makes him think deeply, and when I see the twinkle in his eyes, I realize that he has an idea. He picks up my office phone and presses the numbers. I look at him questioningly, but he doesn’t react to it but patiently waits for the person he calls to answer. The frustration within me increases the longer time goes by without me getting any answers.
“Alpha Paul,” Miliano says suddenly. “I’m calling you to announce that what we’ve all feared is about to happen, and we need to do our utmost to ensure the safety of our race. Can we count on you by our side until our queen comes back? Yes. No. I don’t know; you were the first person I decided to call since I know where your loyalty lies. How good is your alliance? Okay, can you call them up and ask them to come to our territory tomorrow at ten? Perfect! See you then. Bye.”
He hangs up, quickly drinks up the whiskey, sets down the glass on my newly polished desk, and walks out the room without turning around; asshole. With a sigh, I move the glass and quickly follow after him. Miliano is the strategist of the two of us, and if he has a plan, then we have a chance.
“Gather the members of the dining room; everyone should be there within ten minutes!” Miliano roars to Henry and Killian, who nods hastily.
Miliano walks with long steps towards the basement, and I follow, frustrated after him. He jumps down the stairs and moves deeper into the cellar before opening one of the boxes we haven’t touched since we packed the contents down; dad’s stuff.
“Okay, I’ve been patient enough. Are you going to tell me about what you’re doing or not!?” I exclaim, annoyed.
“In a minute, I have to find the history book dad used to have behind him inside his office,” Miliano replies, digging into the box.
I ask no more but helps to look among the contents of another box. The frustration gets worse the more moving boxes we go through without finding what we’re looking for; I also feel how the anger comes from my brother. It’s clear that he has a plan and that the book in question is needed.
“Here!” I finally exclaim after looking in a dozen boxes.
Miliano hurries to me, and I hand over the book. He runs up the stairs with me close behind him. When we reach my office, he lays down the heavy book on my desk and begins to hastily browse the pages until he finds what he’s looking for. I stand next to him and look down at the text. It’s not in English, and even though there are illustrations, I don’t understand the content any more than it has to do with the creature on the page. I don’t understand anything, and neither does he seem to. He walks out of the room, and I’m left alone, looking inquiring after him. I don’t have to search for him, considering he comes back just a minute later with Aleida’s grandmother in tow. She hurries to the book and quickly reads through the text.
“Usted necesita recoger a alguien que puede traducir para usted,” she says and we look questioningly at each other. “Translate.”
Oh, she means we need to find someone who can translate what she says to us. I smile like a timid little boy and send a mindlink to one of our Hispanic members, who shows up shortly after. The young man stands in front of my desk, waiting for her to start speaking.
“Cualquiera que pase por la oscuridad pesada pero se niega a ahogarse en ella resucitará como un gentil, algo prohibido. Ella luchará contra la oscuridad más oscura dentro de sí misma y para sobrevivir, la oscuridad debe ser derrotada por la muerte. La oscuridad será aniquilada e intimidada al infierno donde pertenece. Que el Bendito de la Diosa resucite, una vez más, como algo sagrado, y que incluso la muerte misma games,” she says, and the man looks at her with widened eyes, she nods encouragingly.
“What does she say?” I ask impatiently, and the man clears his throat.
“Anyone who goes through heavy darkness but refuses to drown in it will resurrect as a heathen, something forbidden. She’ll fight the most sinister darkness within herself, and to survive, she must defeat the darkness by death. The darkness will be wiped out and intimidated back down to hell where it belongs. May the blessed one of the goddess be resurrected once again as something sacred and which even death itself fears,” he translates, and I look questioningly at Miliano, smiling broadly.
“Thank you for the help,” I tell the young man before turning to Aleida’s grandmother. “Gracias.”
She smiles and leaves the room with the man. Miliano laughs, and I begin to suspect that he’s losing his mind completely; what the hell is wrong with him!? I’m just about to ask when screams come from Alexander’s room, and I decide to prioritize my son over my insane brother and his meeting in the dining room. Alexander’s whole body is shaking, and he seems to be scared. I carefully pick him up and sit down in the rocking chair in the corner. He sobs, and I caress his back softly, calmly, waiting for him to calm down. I kiss his forehead and look him in the eyes.
“What are your nightmares about, my boy?” I ask softly.
“Mama,” he responds, and I look at him astounded.
Children of that age don’t understand when others talk to them because they can’t perceive the meaning behind the words. In other words, he shouldn’t be able to know what I’m saying, and above all, not answer me with the worst name he can speak!
“Mommy’s okay, son. She’ll be back soon,” I say and am aware that I’m lying through my teeth.
I rock us slowly until he falls asleep again and put him in his bed once more. Hopefully, my little prince gets to sleep a little bit without being tormented by nightmares. It’s enough that his mother has them; he doesn’t need them too. One of our omegas informs me that dinner is ready, and I slowly descend the stairs. When I reach the dining room, our members sit and laugh with each other. I wish I could be as carefree as they seem to be right now.
“You’ve got a lot to explain,” I whisper furiously to my brother when I sit down next to him.
He looks at me with a bored expression before returning to his grilled chicken. Our betas come into the room and sit down opposite us. Jason slowly walks toward us with a coffee cup in his hand but no food plate; he must eat to cope with everything.
“Jason, you should eat something,” Miliano points out as if he can read my mind.
“I’m not hungry,” Jason silently replies, rotating the cup slowly on the table.
“It doesn’t matter that you’re not hungry; my mate will skin me alive if she finds out I allowed you to skip dinner,” Miliano laughs, and Jason smiles at him before walking away to do as Miliano says.
“How can you be so damn stupid that you give him hope when none of us know what’s going to happen!?” I growl to my brother. “You’re cruel to do that to him!”
“If it’s how I suspect it is, then we don’t have to worry much longer,” Miliano replies, and I feel like banging my head in the table repeatedly over the fact that he refuses to tell me what he’s come up with.
“Why can’t you just say what it is!?” I exclaim annoyingly.
He looks at me and smiles sadly before sighing. Our betas also watch him, obviously curious about what they missed while they were training with the warriors. Miliano takes a big sip of water before turning to me and sighs.
“Look, the reason I’m not saying anything is that I don’t want to give you hope. It’s enough if I get false hopes; in that case, we don’t have to be two carrying the potential pain when we have five puppies that need us more than ever if I’m wrong. Then suddenly, everything hangs on you.”